Speed Shrinking For A New Year
Noah Wunsch

It's a week into 2012 and time to stop saying "Happy New Year" to all the woebegotten strangers you encounter outside your local bar. It's time to come to terms with the fact that you've broken your 12 resolutions 20 times over in the last seven days. Time to get the real start. The post-New Year's week one start. And luckily, writer andNewSchoolprofessor Susan Shapiro has got you covered.

This Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe from7-9 p.m.,Shapiro will host one of her famous "Speed Shrinking" events to celebrate the release of her latest book,Unhooked. The book deals with the addictions that hold us back in life, and how we can ditch 'em for good. The book was co-written by her shrink, Dr. Frederick Woolverton, one of the therapists who will be hard at work counseling at Speed Shrinking.

So, what is speed shrinking?Well, we all know what speed dating is, oui? Speed shrinking is the same idea, except with shrinks. If you think that sounds silly, then clearly you haven't had to hunt for a good therapist before.

In a city with a penchant for neurotic tendencies, good therapists are a commodity hard to come by.

Shapiro reasons, "If you need a good shrink, what are you supposed to do? Look in the phonebook? You have to get a recommendation from somebody and then you'd have to pay hundreds of dollars for introductory meetings for someone you may not even click with. I get together a huge group of shrinks where you can meet and greet them. They give out their cards. You can ask what their specialty fields are, including their insurance policies and their focus. From there on you can decide whether any of them are for you, if not, you can ask them for referrals. You have to feel comfortable with a shrink; otherwise you're wasting time and money."

With three minute appointments, you'll have enough time to lay it on the line with them, and hear what kind of feedback they've got for you. In the past, partygoers have dealt with alcohol abuse, divorce, OCD manifested in the picking of skin, sexual issues such as the inability to orgasm and many of the other addictions that plague our everyday (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.).

Aside from the nine shrinks working the event (including a Jungian astrologer, a sex therapist and a family counselor), Shapiro has organized an impressive group of editors and agents so you can nail your speed pitching.

"Many of my students are artists, and they need to know how to make money doing what they do. Meeting an editor atOut,orThe FriskyorMarie Claireis a great start to a solution. Getting published is a fantastic way to relaunch everything. Many of my students have published one essay and it's led to a book deal."

Instead of going to aPBR-splattered party this Wednesday, where intellectual stimulation comes from an existential debate on whetherTiny Furnituresucked or not, head down to Housing Works for some free wine, cupcakes and life-changing advice. Skyhorse Publishing has donated copies ofUnhooked, and all proceeds from the event will go to Housing Works AIDs Charity. If you can't make the Speed Shrinking event but need advice on how to quit the unquittable, Shapiro will host a "How to Change Your Life" panel at Strand Bookstore Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 7-9 p.m., and will be reading fromUnhookedat Barnes and Noble at Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue Jan. 13, from 7:30-8:30 p.m.